Thursday, October 22
I am sure you remember High School English class and the dreaded Shakespeare unit. I must confess that the bard and I did not see eye to eye. I even went to Stratford on a school trip and saw a play. Loved the theatre but snoozed through the play.
Having said that, there are phrases from his plays that I remember to this day, and today’s thought will focus on one of them. “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” This phrase is the beginning of a monologue delivered by the melancholy character named Jaques in Act 2 of the play As You Like It.
As a drama student in my college years, I knew that when I was on stage, my course was laid out in the script. I could not change what my character did or said (especially if I wanted to pass the course).
But what about life? Do we not have free will? Is our life laid out without hope of change?
Predestination is the doctrine that some or all events are predetermined by God. Everything that happens has already been determined by God. This doctrine has been mainly associated with John Calvin.
If you believe in predestination, then that phrase from Shakespeare makes perfect sense. But there is one important doctrine that is missing in this phrase. The doctrine of grace. Grace is that free, unmerited favour of God shown in the salvation of us sinners and the blessings he bestows on us.
Yes, genetically we are all predestined for certain things – the size of your nose or feet, certain chronic diseases, your natural hair colour, or your eye colour. God is not picking and choosing who he wants to save. We are all predestined for salvation. We just need to accept it.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his son to condemn the world but that through him the whole world might be saved. John 3:16-17
God, thank you for loving us. Thank you that you for wanting us. Help us to live our lives as your beloved children. May we share this good news in all that we do and say. Amen.